Every year 15 Victorians are killed and at least 2,000 are seriously injured carrying out Do-It-Yourself (DIY) work. The home, yard and garden are the sites of 30% of all emergency department presentations for injury to Victorian adults. Evidence suggests that home injuries result in more lost days from work than workplace injuries.
Men are much more likely to be injured undertaking DIY tasks than women, in the ratio of 4:1. Adults aged 25-34 years are the highest risk group for DIY injury.
Professor Joan Ozanne-Smith of the Monash University Accident Research Centre (MUARC) said "The most hazardous DIY activities for men are grinding, welding and car maintenance, gardening is the highest risk activity for women... other high risk DIY activities are lawn mowing and ladder use".
Esso Australia Ltd. has supported MUARC to develop three brochures to raise awareness about the patterns and causes of injury during Do-It-Yourself (DIY) activities and the preventative measures that can be taken to avoid such injuries.
Mr Rob Webb, Esso's Corporate and External Affairs Manager said " Esso is sponsoring the DIY brochure because the company is focussed on working hard to achieve the highest standards in occupational health and safety, not just at work but 24 hours a day".
The Victorian WorkCover Authority and the Hire and Rental Association of Australia Ltd are supporting initiatives to get DIY prevention information to workplace managers and hiring firms.
Professor Ozanne-Smith says "Home handypersons are advised to follow 4 safety rules: Use the correct tool and personal protective equipment for the task at hand; maintain safe work practices at all times; read and follow instructions and be aware of risks to bystanders". She adds "Above all, don't be a hero. If a job is too much, call in the professionals. Proving a point is little use if it puts you in hospital."
The three brochures are aimed at providing information to home handypersons, retail and hire outlets, and workplace managers.
Multiple copies of the Retail and Hire Outlets brochure are available. The Home Handyperson and Workplace Managers brochures are now out of print. However you can download them in .pdf format here. For further information and to order brochures please contact Karen Ashby on (03) 9905 1805.